Getting Started for Public Administration Mains
Public Administration an optional for success in civil
Why only Public Administration as an optional ?
Every year almost half of the candidates qualified
finally for the UPSC Civil Services examination had Public Administration as an
optional ( it has 2 in top 10, 6 in top 20, 21 in top 50, 44 in top 100 &
434 out of 910 selections) i.e success ratio was approximately 48 %, it was
- Public Administration not only covers an optional but also almost 60% of
General Studies syllabus in terms of content and marks allotted
- Every year able to cover an essay from the ‘Polity ,Governance and
- Interview has always been testing the candidates' suitability for Civil
Service and Public Administration deals with the government in action or the
Civil Service and that is what the civil service examination is all about.
In the light of recent changes in the syllabus of General Studies in year
Public Administration if opted as an optional subject is going to place a
student with cutting edge and a student without this subject as an optional is
going to lack that competitive advantage .
One actually would prepare for 1100 marks = (500 marks for Public
Administration as an optional subject + more than 50% of the General studies
(i.e. 400 marks) as discussed below + 200 marks of Essay).
The topics indicated in General Studies Paper II, III, and IV covered within
Paper – II of Public Administration (Indian Administration) and certain chapters
of Paper–I Administrative Behaviour, Accountability and Control, Public Policy,
Financial Administration, Administrative Law ,Development Dynamics, and
- Public Administration studies Constitution, Polity & Governance,
Governance is exclusive area under Public Administration
- Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features,
amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and
challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and
finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- Separation of powers between various organs, Dispute Redressal
Mechanisms and institutions.
- Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other
- Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of
business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the
Judiciary-Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and
formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and
responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs,
SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre
and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws,
institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of
these vulnerable sections.
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services
relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
- Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability,
e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential;
citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other
- Role of civil services in a democracy.
- Disaster Management, Planning and Budgeting have been given special area
of study under Public Administration.
- Issues relating to planning
- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
- Government Budgeting.
- Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy
and their effects on industrial growth.
- Disaster and disaster management.
- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of
media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of
cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
- Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of
organized crime with terrorism
- Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
Ethics, Integrity, Attitude and Emotional Intelligence etc. are also studied
in Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology but its application in governance and
administration is studied in public administration – this is what the essence of
the new syllabus of 2013.
Aptitude and foundational values of Civil Services,
integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to
public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker
sections.(Topics studied only in ‘Personnel Administration’ chapter of
Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and
application in administration and governance.( The General Studies syllabus
requires their application in Public Administration or Government only)
Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public
administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in
government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience
as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance;
strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in
international relations and funding; corporate governance.(Covered under the
Administrative ethics section of Public Administration)
Probity in Governance: Concept of public service;
Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and
transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of
Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery,
Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. (Part of
‘Accountability and Control’ chapter of Public Administration)
Topics which are related to the core value of Public Administration
- Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of
Ethics in - human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and
public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of
great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and
educational institutions in inculcating values.
(Without knowing the foundational concept of Administrative values & ethics
of Public Administration , you cannot crack this topic)
- Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with
thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and
- Case Studies on above issues
ESSAY (200 Marks)
- Besides, a student of Public Administration will always find a
favourable topic in Essay from ‘Polity ,Governance and Democracy’.
- For Example, You can review previous years papers :
- Public Private Partnership (IAS 2012)
- Formation of smaller states, and it’s implication on Administration,
finance and development. (IAS 2011)
- Preparedness of our society for India’s Global leadership role (IAS
- Globalization versus Nationalism. (IAS 2009)
- Role of media in Good Governance. (IAS 2008)
- Evaluation of Panchayati Raj System in India from the point of view of
eradication of poverty to power to people (IAS 2007)
- Protection of Ecology and Environment is Essential for Sustained
- Justice must reach the poor(2005)
- Judicial Activism and Indian Democracy (IAS 2004)
- How should a Civil Servant conduct himself ? (IAS 2003)
- Liability of Media in Democracy. (IAS 2002)
- What did we learn from Democracy (IAS 2001)
- Implication of Globalization on India (IAS 2000)
- India needs a better Disaster Management system (IAS 2000)
- Judicial Activism. (IAS 2000)
- Reservation, Politics and Empowerment (1999)
- The language problem in India: Its past, present and prospects(1998)
- Judicial Activism(1997)
- Need for Transparency in Public Administration. (IAS 1996)
- Whither Indian Democracy. (IAS 1995)
- Politics, Business and Bureaucracy – a fatal triangle(1994)
- The Challenges before a Civil Servant today(1994)
- Ecological considerations need not hamper development(1993)
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